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Australia: Shares open up 1.58 per cent


[SYDNEY] Australian stocks gained 1.58 per cent at the open Thursday on the back of a surging Wall Street as fears over China gave way to bargain hunting.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 81.8 points higher at 5,252.6 in early trade, following a strong rally on US markets after a top Federal Reserve official said the case for a September rate hike had weakened.

"There has been a degree of decoupling in recent days between China's equities... and global equities," ANZ Research said in a note.

"Equity markets are fighting back, but are not yet all that far off their lows.

"Volatility is now markedly higher and is likely to stay that way over the coming months as nervous traders react - and overreact - to news, particularly relating to the Fed and China." Among major Australian stocks, the Commonwealth Bank was up 1.56 per cent at A$77.32 and fellow banking giant Westpac rose 1.92 per cent to A$31.88.

Global miner BHP Billiton was also higher, jumping 1.34 per cent to A$24.26 while Rio Tinto gained 1.08 per cent to A$49.42.